Spring Term!

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Apr 222015
 

It’s now April and spring has finally arrived! 

Don’t get me wrong. I think winter can be beautiful. I’m from Southern California and first time I ever saw snow in real life was when I came to Dartmouth. This past winter was one of the coldest in New Hampshire history, which makes me so much more appreciative of warm weather than I ever have.

Now that the snow has finally melted, kids around campus are sporting shorts and tank tops every day. It’s a wopping 60 degrees today, a temperature that makes most Southern Californians shiver, but most of my classmates are wearing dresses and sandals. It’s funny how relative even temperature can be.

This term, I’m really looking forward to…

The 43rd Annual Dartmouth Powwow over Mother’s Day Weekend
learn more here
 


Green Key Weekend
and the free concert!
learn more here

Going to the river and taking advantage of the cheap kayak & canoe rentals from the Ledyard Canoe Club

Hanging on the Green

And just enjoying the sun!

Spring is the best term at Dartmouth and I am so excited that it has finally arrived :)

peace & blessinz,
Monica Stretten ’15

Feb 172015
 

I think I’ve mentioned this in one or two of my previous posts, but the biggest reason that I chose Dartmouth was the large Native American community and esteemed Native American Studies program.

I’m Native myself, a member of the Chickahominy Tribe, but was raised in a conservative, predominantly white community in Southern California. My mom made sure that my sister and I grew up with a lot of knowledge of and ties to our culture. I was used to being the only Native kid at my school; it was all I knew. But once I got to high school, I felt extremely isolated from the rest of the student body. This was largely due to my school’s mascot: the Warrior. It was hard to see my culture be trivialized and essentially mocked for the enjoyment of a cohort of people that had no idea what any of the appropriated symbols stood for or how damaging it is to rely on stereotypes of an entire race of people. I knew that I needed a different experience in college. I needed a supportive community that would understand and share my same life experiences and perspectives.

I heard that Dartmouth had a large Native student population, now almost 5%, which is one of the largest statistics of any competitive school in the country. I started to research more and discovered the Native American Studies program. While I had already come from a strong cultural background, I knew that there was more I needed to learn. I want to work as a doctor in a tribal community and I thought that the best way to serve my people was to be sure that I learn more, especially since no two Native American communities in the United States are identical. As an interdisciplinary program, Native American Studies has allowed me to explore Native experiences through historical, political, cultural, literary, and anthropological lenses.

Native Americans at Dartmouth (NAD) Grad

I was pretty set on Dartmouth after learning about all of the resources that would be available to me here as a Native student. And as I researched other aspects of the College, I started to idealize this place and fell in love. I saw satirical videos and articles published by the Jack-O-Lantern, the humor magazine on campus that Dr. Seuss once wrote for. I learned about the various famous alumni of the College: Dr. Seuss, Robert Frost, Mindy Kaling, Rachel Dratch, Shonda Rhimes, Aisha Tyler, and the list goes on. I read about all of the really quirky campus traditions: freshman bonfire, polar bear swim, human dog-sled race, etc. I wanted to go to a school that would provide me with opportunities to just have fun and enjoy my youth while I still have it.

Plus the fact that Dartmouth was ranked #1 in undergraduate teaching at the time was a huge bonus. I didn’t realize how important it would be for me to be able to have intimate classroom experiences with my professors and classmates, and to receive more personal attention to bolster my understanding and learning of the material. As my largest class this term has 13 students, I can say that I absolutely cannot imagine learning in a different (larger) environment.

I have learned and grown so much here. I can’t imagine having gone to another college.

Feb 022015
 
Colors!

I just made the trek from my on-campus apartment (near the Connecticut river) to the Undergraduate Admissions Office (near the College Green) in some pretty dense snow. My trek is shared by many students in Hanover during the winter. The first snow is always pretty and delightful (especially if you are from the west coast or a typically warm region), but after about the 5th straight snow day and realizing that you actually won’t see any sort of greenery until March, traveling adventures become less of an option and more of a priority. Hence, my list of the top 5 places to visit during winter at Dartmouth.

 

1.  Boston

While some may say that Boston isn’t the most appealing or entertaining city, it is the easiest major city to access from Hanover. The Dartmouth Coach (http://www.dartmouthcoach.com/) offers daily trips to and from Boston for just $50 round-trip. As a result,  Boston, for many students, is a quick weekend getaway with all of the major US city amenities at an affordable rate. Just imagine escaping the frozen tundra to visit friends at any of Boston’s 100 colleges and universities, checking out revolutionary America (say hi to Paul Revere for me), or indulging in some of the best chowder and oysters New England has to offer at the historic Union Oyster House. There are a lot of cool things to do in Boston and if all else fails, you have easy access to Logan Airport which will take you just about anywhere around the world. Wheels Up!

2. New York City

This was a tough one. I really enjoy NYC, so the Big Apple almost made number one on my list of places to visit. Of course, the city that never sleeps is within close proximity to Hanover. Like Boston, the Dartmouth Coach also makes daily trips t and from the Big Apple for a relatively low price compared to other travel options. Once you’re there, the world is yours. Not only does NYC have a pretty tantalizing social life, but there are tons of places to eat and sights to see. A substantial number of Dartmouth students are from the NY metropolitan area, and you’re almost certain to run into a Dartmouth alum while cruising the streets of NYC.

3. Montreal

Though this is a trip I have yet to make, I’ve heard far too many friends say that Montreal constitutes their favorite weekend getaway from Hanover. Montreal is slightly closer to campus than NYC, and is all the buzz in Canadian tourist destinations. The Programming Board at Dartmouth organizes annual trips to Montreal with hotel stay and many suggested options for entertainment. Ice bars, a plethora of eateries, and that french Canadian accent–what else is there to want in a trip from Hanover. This place is definitely on my bucket list before graduation in June.

4. Burlington

Burlington is Vermont’s major city. With the state literally bordering campus, the 1.5 hours it takes to get to Burlington is light work. Burlington is certainly smaller in size and population  than NYC, Boston, or Montreal, but that’s what makes it special. You’ll have access to a lot of the same places and things you would in your hometown without thousands or even millions of people surrounding you. Burlington is surprisingly diverse in comparison to other small northeastern cities, and University of Vermont (basically the nucleus of Burlington) might just give you that big university experience without the commitment. You’ll be right back in happy Hanover in no time.

5. The New Hampshire Wilderness

Alright, I know this list primarily consist of cities, but even as a city-boy, there’s something about the NH wilderness that is just as, if not more fun than going to a city for your getaway. Luckily, Dartmouth is highly invested in the preservation of the surrounding wilderness. The college maintains several trails, cabins, lodges, a ski way, an organic farm, and so much more. The Appalachian trail cuts right through campus and snow-shoeing is actually a thing around here. I never thought that the wilderness would offer anything worthwhile, but my friends and I make cabin camping, hiking, canoeing among other outdoor activities a priority. This getaway is right at the border of our campus and span across the entire state pretty much. With a membership at the Dartmouth Outing Club (DOC), you can get access to our immediate surroundings for little to nothing.

No matter where you decide to go, I hope this short list serves as catalyst for your regional adventures. Though many associate Dartmouth with being isolated, you have more access to some really cool places in comparison to most colleges. So if you ever find yourself tired of the snowy trek across campus, or the snow globe in which we live for 3-4 months each year, one of these places can serve as that overdue getaway that you won’t regret!

– Kevin

Jan 242015
 

Throughout high school, I was an avid debater. Every week, I would spend countless hours at practice, researching bills, and prepping speeches for Saturday tournaments. I absolutely loved it, and as a result that was “my thing” for four years. When I first got to Dartmouth, I realized I no longer had that and started looking for something to fill my time. I contemplated between joining the debate team or trying out for Mock Trial Team. I ended up choosing the latter and embarked on catching up on the style that many people had spent 4 years learning in high school. Don’t let this stop you from trying out. I had NO experience with Mock Trial and still made the team!

The first couple weeks of practice were a steep learning curve since there were formats to memorize, boatloads of things to read and people to meet. Once things settled down and we started writing and preparing for our first tournament, that’s when things got interesting.

The team messing around in between rounds.

The team messing around in between rounds.

The team typically travels to one tournament a term (for a total of 3-4 a year) and always does very well!

2013-2014 Team at UNH!

2013-2014 Team at UNH!

 

For those of you who have done mock trial in the past, be warned that the college style is different and even more fun!

Lawyer taking on a witness at UNH

Lawyer taking on a witness at UNH

 

If you want more information about the team feel free to check out their website and Facebook:

http://sites.dartmouth.edu/mocktrialsociety/

https://www.facebook.com/DartmouthMockTrialSociety?ref=br_tf

If you’re looking for a fun, public speaking outlet or even just want to act and take on the role of witnesses, the mock trial team at Dartmouth is a fantastic way to explore and keep your skills sharp! And as always, feel free to reach out to the team or to me directly! Comment below with any questions. Until next time :)

darmtouth mock trial join us

Oct 142014
 
2014-09-28 12.37.03

2014-09-28 12.37.03My first reaction upon arriving to the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge on the morning of October 4th was assuredly expletive filled and incoherent, but it probably boiled down to “It’s about time.” Of course, I can only guess as to this, seeing as the contents of my brain from 6AM-1PM that morning were best represented as a Jackson Pollack painting. My second, and much more delayed, reaction to this arrival was a strange sort of hunger. I hadn’t died, I hadn’t broken a bone, I hadn’t even gotten a blister. It’s inappropriate and probably a little demeaning to the 13 people who did not finish, but I couldn’t help but thinking, “what’s next?” Which I suppose is one of the numerous possible reactions one could have to hiking for 25 hours straight through the night to get from point A to point B.

The 50 is a time honored Dartmouth tradition that I have written about before. Groups of four sign up for a lottery, and 8 teams are selected to hike (32 total hikers). This fall, I decided to do the famed death march that starts at Robinson Hall, summits 6 mountains, and arrives 53.6 miles later at the Dartmouth owned Moosilauke Ravine Lodge (known simply as ‘the Lodge’). Seeing as this was right around the time of the fall equinox (based on the number of werewolf sightings during the night), the hike contained a 12 hour segment in the dark. There were many highlights from this period. When we started our ascent up Mt. Smarts, you better believe we had Eminem going at full volume feeling like we were about to storm the walls of Helm’s Deep. And on the way down Mt. Cube, we blasted the first book of Harry Potter on audiobook as if we were about to storm the walls of my mom’s mini van. And there was that moment when we thought that we might literally have found Hell when we reached the road at 3:30 in the morning and it was so pitch black that when we turned our headlamps off we couldn’t see our hands. There was only the unrelenting pain in our feet and knees. At 8AM, one of my friends hiking on my team said that he was relieved. I asked why. He said it was because he thought he was finally going crazy, and that meant his brain was doing something to cope with the pain, which was evidently a good sign. I couldn’t really work out what he was saying. I was too busy swimming in a sea of jelly beans.

2014-09-28 12.37.44

3/4 of the group on a training hike

There are a lot of canned answers you get about things at Dartmouth. “How was your freshman trip?” Great! “How was your FSP” Wonderful! “How was sophomore summer?” Sunny! In reality, these things are all very complex and warrant long and reflective answers, but you have about 47 seconds standing in line before it is your turn to order, and you wont be able to rehearse what you are going to ask for in your head if you are seriously reflecting on your experiences. There isn’t really a canned response for hiking the 50 (only 32 people set out to do it twice a year), but if there were it would probably go like: “How was the 50” Terrible! I don’t know why people do it! I personally have never been more stumped by small talk than I am by that question. Am I allowed to say, “It sucked, I guess, but it was also great. I want to do it again?” The question mark indicates an upward inflection rather than an actual question (other people rarely have the answers to questions you ask yourself). It’s hard to process an experience when you are progressively losing your mind as it gets more interesting. The sucky parts definitely sucked. Miles 42-44 felt like I was walking in circles, and I could have sworn the forest was mocking me with its colors. There was a distinct point when I almost got in a fist fight with Mount Moosilauke over the sheer audacity of its final uphill. But I never for a second doubted that I would finish, and that gave me pause. How much further could we have gone? There are two things about the 50 that are so indescribably great that I can’t imagine that I only got to experience them in those 25 hours and 47 minutes of my entire life.

2014-09-28 12.37.03

  1. Getting supported by my friends for a meaningless task, merely because I had set out to do that meaningless task:

Every 10 miles, I was shepherded to comfy seats with hot drinks and food while eager pre-med students took my boots off and anxiously searched for blisters. Maybe its just me enjoying luxury, but it is just awesome to feel the full support and enthusiasm for upwards of 60 people who want you to finish. I think Dartmouth has a special capacity for generating these sort of people/this type of experience.

 

  1. Accomplishing something immensely dumb and dangerous with a team of my closest friends

Doing the 50 is a weird and circuitous way of expressing camaraderie and friendship in the form of “how the hell are we going to get up that mountain?” We all were in the same place when the gradients got steep, when the moon set, when the fog descended; we went through the same hell together. Conversely, we were there together when the sun rose and we remembered how beautiful the New England colors were (I wish I were exaggerating when I say I remembered that the forest had color at all). We were there at every support station (which is the psychological equivalent of a particularly fun holiday, maybe Halloween). We were there when we passed people at the top of Mount Moosilauke and they asked us where we were coming from and we said defiantly “Hanover.” And then they looked as us weird because we smelled bad and were empirically insane and they probably didn’t believe us. These two things are so wonderful, and the sense of accomplishment is so strong, that I want to do the 50 again. Except not literally – the 50 at this point is a metaphor for fun suffering (keep up). So I guess all that’s left is the question, “What’s next?”

Smiles only go so far to mask the existential pain.

Smiles only go so far to mask the existential pain.

Couldn't move my legs for a minute.

Couldn’t move my legs for a minute.

At the lodge, trying to reach back to Hanover

At the lodge, trying to reach back to Hanover

Optimism at mile 10

Optimism at mile 10

Colors!

Colors!

Jun 052014
 

So Senior Week and Graduation are finally upon us here in Hanover.  I wish I could give you some dazzling, worldly advice, but I can’t come up with much that hasn’t already been said.  I guess all I’ve got is

1.  Don’t be evil.

2.  They’re spelled ‘Novack’ and ‘Occom’, not ‘Novak’ and ‘Occum’.

A lot of my first couple years here was spent trying to be the kind of person who would be able to give advice once I graduated.  I saw the ’11s and the ’12s and the incredible things they brought to this school, and wanted to be exactly like them.  I joined a ton of clubs, took hard classes, had countless auditions and interviews, wrote a questionably-articulate admissions blog, and realized that I wasn’t very good at most of the things I did.  I got rejected from a lot of things, and was mediocre at the ones I did.  When I became social chair of my fraternity, I took the ego gratification of a executive position over the moral gratification of doing something I actually cared about, and I was miserable.  I’d finally found the one thing I was good at, and I hated it.
It was a weird experience, but as I’ve probably mentioned before, the friends I made and the skills I gained along the way made it worth it.  Sometimes, it really is the side effects that save us.  Dartmouth has been nothing if not humbling, and at this point, I don’t feel like I can say anything that wouldn’t be more meaningful if you learned it on your own.
(Though I will reiterate that both evil and misspellings are generally frowned upon at this institution.  Just a heads-up.)

Anyway, I’ll be back here in the fall for the fifth year of the engineering program, but I’m still saying goodbye to a lot of things.  A lot of my friends, a lot of my extracurriculars, this blog.  I’m passing on a lot of institutional memory to the younger members of the clubs I do.  (GET IT??  THE TITLE IS TOTALLY A PUN!!)  It took four years of humbling myself and learning from people who were actually passionate and good at things, instead of blindly trying to one-up them, but now maybe I am a little bit relevant.

In keeping with that theme, I’ll be helping organize Orientation in the fall, so i’ll probably meet you then.  Enjoy your summers, enjoy Trips, and, as always, blitz me if you have any questions whatsoever.  stefan.j.deutsch.14@dartmouth.edu

See you in the fall,

Your vox clamantis interneto

May 222014
 

It’s been a pretty hectic couple of weeks, which is interesting because I’ve had a lot to write about but very little time in which to write it.  Accordingly, this’ll probably end up as kind of a double post.

You’ll probably hear a lot about Green Key from any current student, but very little in the way of an explanation.  I’m not going to break with that trend here, Green Key is hard to describe, but easy to experience.  Pretty much anywhere you go on campus, you’re bound to find some sort of celebration or adventure or diversion from the usual rhythm of college life.  This year, we had performances from Lupe Fiasco, the Chainsmokers, and a ton of local and regional touring bands which meant that there was music happening somewhere on campus pretty much continuously for the entire weekend.  Even my old roommate decided to get in on the action and presented his senior piano recital on Saturday afternoon.  The music, combined with the fact that President Hanlon must have finally found Jim Kim’s weather machine and kept the weather sunny despite the forecast, made for a phenomenal weekend to be outside.  (Seriously though, it’s always good weather here when it needs to be:  Green Key, Homecoming Bonfire, Dimensions… except for Fieldstock my sophomore summer. We don’t talk about that.)

I might have tried to take advantage of the outdoors a little too much and ended up in the ER after taking a Frisbee to the face, but I got ice cream after my stitches so I guess that worked out ok.

Note, this is a size small cone at ‘Ice Cream Fore U’ in West Lebanon. For obvious reasons, I highly recommend it.

It’s weird how the term seems to be wrapping up already.  My friends are presenting their theses, we’re getting Commencement instructions in the mail, and I’m booking flights for my research job at Case Western this summer.  I just finished the last paper for my architecture class, which will probably be the last non-engineering paper of my life.  Around this time four years ago, I was researching dorms online, so I guess it’s appropriate that I finish by researching Dartmouth dorms again for a paper on the design of the Choates.  While I was writing, I got sidetracked and ended up reading the Wikipedia article on all the buildings at Dartmouth.  I hadn’t even heard of a pretty big chunk of them.  After four years here, I still have places left to explore.  I’ve been trying to check all of them out without being egregiously creepy.  Of course, most of them are just classrooms and offices.  I probably should have expected that.  There have been some gems though:  crazy artwork, underground tunnels, that greenhouse on top of the biology building.  I found a secret society house while attempting to chase a rogue moose.  Heck, I found the secret hiding place of the Keggy the Keg suit once, but got sworn to secrecy.  Even if it isn’t Green Key, the possibilities on this campus are hard to describe, but easy to experience.

I’m still kind of holding out and looking for some sort of Harry Potter-esque Room of Requirement, but it’s probably not going to happen.  Then again, I would never have been able to tell the story of climbing on to the roof of my high school if the seniors hadn’t told me there was a pool up there.  So yeah, there’s a pool on the roof.

May 062014
 

If you’re one of the 55% or so of prospies who chose Dartmouth this past week, congratulations!  At least in my opinion, you made the right call.
You’ll hear a lot about the Dartmouth Experience in your next four years.  A lot of it will be true for you, a lot of it won’t.  A lot of people will tell you it doesn’t exist, which is to some extent accurate.  There’s no singular Dartmouth experience, everyone takes different paths in some way or another.  Some of the people who would look the same as me on paper (same house, same major, same extracurriculars) have been the most different from me.  I guess statistics can lie in that way.  It’s never a good idea to break a person down to a couple numbers and descriptors.
That said, I like statistics.  They can tell you a lot.  And I guess they’d lead me to say that even though there’s no one ‘Dartmouth Experience’, you’ll share a lot of memories with the rest of the ’18s.  In all honesty, you’re gonna do a lot of the same stuff.  Statistically, around 95% of you will go on First-Year Trips.  Statistically, most of those people will remember it four years later.

No matter how many times they’ll try to forget….

A lot of you will probably run around the bonfire.  You’ll eat in Foco.  You’ll have a snowball fight.  You’ll try to get a job.  You’ll go to the river.  Probably.  You can’t say any of these with certainty, but they’re pretty likely.
Some of them are more interesting.  You’ll learn things.  You’ll create things.  You’ll make mistakes.  You’ll make decisions.  Big decisions!  Bad decisions!  You’ll critically reexamine your principles.  Or at least you should.

Anyway, what’s great about the Dartmouth Experience is that it gives you the leeway and the ability to make your own experience, but still have enough in common with your classmates that you can connect with any given person on campus.  You establish your own identity, instead taking a pre-existing one.  And that’s at least 150% cooler than anything else I can think of.

On another note, apparently none of the other bloggers have posted this yet.  Check it out.

 

Apr 302014
 
Baker Library, Rauner Special Collections Library, Sanborn Library

Baker Library, Rauner Special Collections Library, Sanborn Library, Photo by Joseph Mehling ’69

The Library; the heart of any college campus. At Dartmouth, a place where students chat, study, grab coffee, cut through for warmth when it’s cold, and sometimes spend very late nights. The Dartmouth College Library is also a center for building knowledge, discovery, and creativity as students have access to over 2.5 million books and hundreds of thousands of digital resources among other items. Dartmouth has a total of nine libraries on campus, each offering unique services and resources to students of any year or major. During orientation week in September, you can learn all there is to know about the libraries on campus at the Library Open House, but until then, here are some of the best things about our libraries…

1)      Open Stacks System in Baker-Berry, our main library: An open stacks system means students can walk through our stacks and freely browse the collection for any book they may need at any time during the library’s open hours.

4017613065_749585e982_o

Student browsing through the stacks at Baker-Berry, Photo by Joseph Mehling ’69

2)      Borrow Direct: Borrow Direct is a rapid book request and delivery system among eight colleges in the North East. By this system, Dartmouth students have access to the combined

library catalogs of Dartmouth, Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, MIT, UChicago, UPenn, Princeton and Yale, providing us with an outstanding number of resources for research.

3)      Rauner Special Collections Library: Rauner holds some of the oldest, coolest, and most bizarre things you have ever seen. Rauner holds extensive rare book, manuscript, and archival collections among which are Shakespeare’s First Folio and dozens of elaborate and beautiful copies of the medieval Book of Hours. Rauner also holds originals of our school paper The Dartmouth from its beginning as well as of The Aegis, our award-winning yearbook.

Selection of old rare books from Rauner, Photo by Joseph Mehling '69

Selection of old and rare books from Rauner, Photo by Joseph Mehling ’69

4)      Jones Media Center: Our media library provides the tools and software for media projects and among thousands of digital resources, holds copies of 7,500 DVDs that you can check out whenever and hold a movie night with your friends, or just with a bag of popcorn.

5)      King Arthur Flour: Which we affectionately refer to as “KAF,” the best place to grab a coffee or delicious baked good as a study pick-me-up or just because. KAF is located in the lobby of Baker-Berry and is a student favorite for their baked goods and delicious brie-and-apple and roast beef sandwiches.

Students in line at  KAF, Photo by Joseph Mehling '69

Students in line at KAF, Photo by Joseph Mehling ’69

These highlights are only a few among so much more, and with the support of extremely knowledgeable and helpful librarians and library staff, the Dartmouth College Libraries  provide a comfortable and dynamic environment where caffeine quotas are filled and inspiration is born. We can’t wait to meet all you new ’18s in September during the open house! For more on the libraries, check out our website at library.dartmouth.edu

Apr 212014
 

Hey all,
So it’s been a while since my last post and it’s all because of how busy this term has been, but also because of how much fun the Spring that everyone is always outside enjoying the warmth on the Green and in town!

A few weekends ago, I got to attend a bioethics bowl in Chicago, along with three other Dartmouth students. We had prepared for this conference for a few weeks, over spring break, and then headed to Chicago with our cases prepared and ready for debate. Bioethics is an event that happens under the Ethics Institute, which also organizes a lot of cool events and offers an ethics minor (http://www.dartmouth.edu/~ethics/). It was a very great learning experience, and being there with many other students from other schools was great fun, too. It’s definitely nice to represent D away at a conference and to get to know fellow students. Finally, a picture of the team in the Windy City is attached.

Happy Spring!

bioethics1